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Becoming a Wildlife Biologist

I am a highschool student looking at fish and game careers, and I was curious what are the prerequisites for becoming a wildlife biologist? What are some common things they do on a daily basis? Is there a website I can learn more on wildlife biologists?

Answer

Becoming a wildlife biologist can be an exciting and fulfilling career.  But it does take commitment and work to get there.  You must get good grades in high school, and have a knack for science and math.  We require a minimum of a B.S. in wildlife management or biology from an accredited college, and several years experience as a volunteer, intern, bio aide, and wildlife technician.  All hires off the register typically have an M.S. as well which is another 2-3 years of education and experience.  Many of our applicants and hires also have PhDs as well.  A professional biologist organization called The Wildlife Society has a certification program for biologists.  This certification will give you an idea what courses degrees and experience you will need.   http://www.wildlife.org/certification/program . 

Also, we regularly advertise our positions as they become available and how we describe our entry level biologist position is as follows: This position designs and implements wildlife data collection programs, monitors wildlife movements and activities, prepares management plans for wildlife programs in an assigned region, reviews environmental assessment reports and impact statements affecting area wildlife populations, analyzes wildlife population data and writes reports, supervises and trains employees in collecting wildlife population data, participates in conducting public meetings and hearings on wildlife seasons and regulations, and conducts public outreach activities. Regional Wildlife Biologists are required to ride in airplanes and helicopters.  

Please note, these positions require walking and backpacking for several hours, and may require operating trail bikes and riding horses in rugged terrain, handling sedated and unsedated wild animals, working in extreme weather conditions; and lifting and carrying up to 65 pounds with or without accommodations.

Although the education requirements can be daunting looking forward, they are required to prepare you for a professional career.  I would also plan on talking to a professional biologist to see what a day in the life looks like.  Good luck and we hope you pursue your dream.